The January 13 ‘encounter’ in which Naqeebullah Mehsud and three others were killed was, in fact, a one-sided shooting, according to an investigative report submitted to the Supreme Court (SC) on Friday.
Sources told DawnNews that the 15-page sealed report, which is to be presented to an SC bench in Saturday’s hearing, was a one-sided affair which saw police personnel shoot dead the slain men and then cover up the murder.
At least one of the deceased — Mehsud — was deemed innocent by the Additional Inspector General of the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD), Dr Sanaullah Abbasi earlier this week. The report, which carries Abbasi’s signatures, reiterated the assessment that Mehsud was killed in a staged shoot-out.
The report also states that Mehsud and two others were picked from Sohrab Goth on January 3, although the other two were later released by Anwar and his squad, allegedly on the payment of a bribe.
The report also features the statements of the two who were released.
Innocent or a terrorist?
Mehsud, a 27-year-old hailing from South Waziristan, was among four suspects killed in an ‘encounter’ with a police team headed by former SSP Malir Rao Anwar in the Usman Khaskheli Goth on the outskirts of the metropolis.
Anwar has stuck to the claim that Mehsud was a Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militant, but so far, no evidence has emerged.
A statement reportedly issued by a spokesperson for TTP’s South Waziristan chapter had termed Anwar’s claim “baseless”, clarifying that the deceased had no links with the banned militant outfit.
Mehsud’s family also disputed Anwar’s claim, saying their son had no links with any militant organisation.
Naqeebullah Mehsud — whose name is given as Naseemullah on his national identity card — was a shop owner fond of modelling, relatives of the deceased had previously told DawnNews.
Sindh Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had taken notice of Mehsud’s death following an uproar on social media over the alleged staged encounter.
The next day, the Supreme Court of Pakistan also took suo motu notice of the incident. Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar had asked the Sindh IGP to submit a report on the matter within seven days.